Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | March 11, 2015

Kepler & the Psycho Squirrel

Kepler Squirrel

In the Christmas Vacation movie a squirrel rides into the house concealed within a Christmas tree. Later a large Rottweiler dog chases the squirrel throughout the house. They go round and round through the rooms destroying everything in their path. It is quite humorous as long as you are a viewer and not a participant.

Here’s a YouTube clip of the movie’s Squirrel-Rottweiler segment:

Recently we ourselves had this same “Dog chases squirrel through the house” experience for real, but with less damage. Here’s the story.

One day last week our dog started showing intense interest in the closed glass doors of our fireplace. Later we heard noises in the fireplace and saw a black squirrel rearranging the paper and sticks that were laid for the next fire. The squirrel may have been a pregnant female looking for a good nesting place.

Cracking the fireplace glass doors, I drove the squirrel out through the ash-cleanout at the bottom. I thought the problem was solved. Little did I anticipate the turmoil that was in the offing.


That same evening I started a fire in our fireplace. About half an hour later, a black squirrel leaped out of the fireplace onto the fireplace screen, climbed the screen, leaped to the mantle, ran along the mantle scattering objects in its path, jumped down onto a stack of firewood, ran behind the four-foot-high TV cabinet, and then up onto the cabinet beside the TV and DVD player.

The picture shows the state of the fireplace when the squirrel leaped out of the ash-cleanout beneath the fire, climbed the screen and escaped into the room. I was sitting in a chair in front of the fire and saw the squirrel climb the screen and leap out.

Dead Squirrel

Kepler’s Dead Squirrel in the Snow
(soup can is for scale)

The squirrel was full-grown and coal-black. I keep the ash-cleanout open to draw in outside air to feed the fire, and this is how the squirrel got in. It was probably attracted by the fire’s warmth.

I had no hope of catching the squirrel once it was loose in the house, but I knew who could catch it.

Kepler is our year-old Jack Russell terrier puppy (today is his birthday) named for the Biblical creationist, mathematician, and astronomer Johann Kepler (1571-1630) who discovered the three Laws of Planetary Motion.

Kepler considers all people and dogs friends, and he is always eager to meet someone new. He soon proved, however, to have a different attitude toward squirrels. Kepler rocketed after the squirrel with an intensity and singularity of purpose to be admired.

Kepler Glass Door

Kepler Jumping at the Glass Door
He barked and jumped for 20 minutes
trying to get to his now-dead squirrel.

The squirrel’s fatal mistake was leaving the high ground of the TV cabinet. It jumped down onto the wood pile and proceeded to lead Kepler on a not-so-merry chase. They ran across the family room knocking over a pile of newspapers, up and over the sofa, through the kitchen, into the front hall, back through the kitchen running under the kitchen table, and into the family room again — all with Kepler in extremely hot pursuit the whole way.

The squirrel was squeaking and bits of its fur were flying as Kepler kept snapping hard on its heels. Later we found tufts of black squirrel fur all over the family room and kitchen floors. Look closely at the picture with the soup can to see bare spots on its flank and side where Kepler removed fur during the chase.

Kepler Jump

Kepler jumped so high he left the picture

Kepler finally ran the squirrel to ground under the desk in the family room and killed it. I threw its body out the sliding glass door into the snow.

This was the most excitement Kepler has had all winter. It was even pretty exciting for us as we watched. Kepler was beside himself with excitement for a full 20 minutes after the kill. He kept jumping at the sliding glass door on his hind legs and barking. Nothing would distract him till my wife moved the dead squirrel out of sight. Then he prowled the family room for half an hour hunting for more squirrels with his nose.

The job Kepler performed with such skill, efficiency, speed, and dispatch was amazing to watch. It could not possibly have been improved upon. Man could never design and build such an efficient squirrel-catching device.

Kepler Glass Door

Kepler still wants the squirrel the next day

We have gray squirrels, reddish brown squirrels, and black squirrels in our yard, but Kepler has shown very little interest in them in the past — possibly because he was still a young puppy.

Where did Kepler get his lightning reflexes? Why did he chase the squirrel? Who taught him how to catch squirrels?

I did not tell Kepler to get the squirrel. I have never taught or trained Kepler on how to catch a squirrel. The Creator built this capability into Kepler’s DNA. Imagine the complexity of that coding job! No human has any idea how to write that code in the DNA. This is another way in which little Kepler glorifies his Creator — by doing very well what he was well-designed to do.

Questions to Ponder
  1. Every creature glorifies its Creator. How does your favorite animal glorify the Creator?
  2. Have you felt the exhilaration of watching someone do just what they were created to do? Describe the occasion.
  3. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

This is the sixth article in a series of blog posts on our Jack Russell terrier Kepler.
Read the prequels:
1. Why I Named Our Puppy “Kepler”
2. Kepler’s Kind
3. Kepler’s Lopsided Trade
4. Kepler’s Amazing Nose
5. Kepler’s Business Card

Read the sequel:
7. Taunting Kepler

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:4)
Wednesday March 11, 2015 A.D.

But now ask the beasts, and let them teach you;
And the birds of the heavens, and let them tell you.
Or speak to the earth, and let it teach you;
And let the fish of the sea declare to you.
Who among all these does not know
That the hand of the LORD has done this,
In whose hand is the life of every living thing,
And the breath of all mankind?
(Job 12:7-10)

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